Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 12-18 August 2019

Looks like this article is a bit old. Be aware that information may have changed since it was published.

Free And Cheap Events In London This Week: 12-18 August 2019

All week

Free entertainment in Hatton Garden

SCHOOL HOLIDAYS: If you're running out of ways to keep your kids entertained in the summer holidays, take a look at our family-friendly guide to what's on in London, covering exhibitions, theatre shows and one-off events — there's plenty for all budgets.

CLEANERS OF LONDON: London's cleaners are celebrated in a free exhibition of photo portraits, accompanied by their stories. The display shines a light on London's 'hidden workers' who keep the city moving, yet are sometimes not even paid the London Living Wage. St Sepulchre's Church (Holborn Viaduct), free, just turn up, until 31 August

WINDRUSH ARRIVAL: Recreations of Windrush passenger landing cards, representing each person who arrived on the Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in 1948, go on display in a free exhibition. 341 of the cards, designed by a historian, are on display, each representing a pivotal moment in that person's life. Lewisham Shopping Centre, free, just turn up, 10 August-1 November

The British Red Cross recreates the world's largest refugee camp

TUDOR TAKEOVER: Step on board London's dry-docked ship and come face to face with all manner of Tudor characters. The family-friendly theatricals includes Sir Francis Drake, having just completed his successful circumnavigation, and Queen Elizabeth I, who's trying to avoid the war. The Golden Hinde (Borough), £5, book ahead, 12-16 August

REFUGEE CAMP: The British Red Cross offers Londoners a chance to experience what it's like in the world's largest refugee camp — inside Westfield Stratford. Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh is recreated in a free exhibition telling the stories of people who have been through the camp. Westfield Stratford, free, just turn up, 12-18 August

POP UP PARK: London's jewellery quarter hosts a free pop-up park. Head to Hatton Garden for plenty of space to sit and chill out on your lunch break or after work, along with free yoga and gym classes, massages, food and drink. Hatton Garden, free, just turn up, 14-16 August

Monday 12 August

Learn about Jagadish Chandra Bose

TINY TROOPERS: Younger kids are catered for at National Army Museum's toddlers' session, Tiny Troopers. The sensory session for under 5s involves singing, games and crafty activities, all on the theme of the current Abram Games exhibition. National Army Museum (Chelsea), £5, book ahead, 10am/11.20am

LIVE MUSIC: Liven up your Monday night with free live music on a rooftop terrace overlooking shopping area Coal Drops Yard. DJ duo Poly-Ritmo & Karl FM headline tonight. Coal Drops Yard (King's Cross), free, book ahead, 6pm-10pm

INDIAN SCIENCE: Learn about Jagadish Chandra Bose, who created a philosophy of science in colonised India, at a free talk. Throughout his career, the scientist and polymath — whose research helped with the invention of the radio — came up against prejudice from western colleagues who questioned his credibility. British Library, free, just turn up, 6.15pm-7.30pm

Tuesday 13 August

Enjoy a free concert in Canary Wharf

MISSION INVERTEBRATE: If your kids like nothing better than poking around with bugs and the like, take them to the Mission: Invertebrate Roadshow where they might learn something about them. Bees, beetles, snails and spiders all feature, with facts told through interactive storytelling, craft activities, and bug hunts. Bushy Park, free, just turn up, 11am-3pm

SUMMER CONCERT: It's movie night at this free concert in Canary Wharf. Iconic songs from the movies are performed on stage by a large band and a selection of singers, complete with Dirty Dancing finale. All together now: "IIIII've had, the time of my liiiiife..." Canada Square Park (Canary Wharf), free, just turn up, 7pm

LIARS' LEAGUE: Spoken word night Liars' League is back with its annual women and girls special. All of tonight's speakers and protagonists are female. The work of six authors from the US, Ireland, Australia and the UK is showcased. The Phoenix (Cavendish Square), £5, just turn up, 7pm-10pm

Wednesday 14 August

Have a rummage at the Beyond Retro vintage sale

VINTAGE SALE: Pep up your wardrobe with a bargain or two from the Beyond Retro vintage sale. The east London vintage store is selling off 20,000 vintage and one-off items over four days — and it's completely free to browse. Bussey Building (Peckham), free entry, just turn up, 14-18 August

UNDER GROUND LONDON: Join a curator at London Metropolitan Archives for a tour of the current Under Ground London exhibition. Specific focus is on the work of Henry Mayhew, social researcher and reform campaigner who carried out a survey of the city's poor. London Metropolitan Archives (Clerkenwell), free, just turn up, 1pm-2pm

LONDON IS A FOREST: Paul Wood, author of London Is A Forest, gives a talk about the book, focusing specifically on six forest trails which lead from the edge of the capital to its centre. He also tackles the question of whether a city can ever really be a forest. Daunt Books (Hampstead), £5, book ahead, 6.45pm

MOULIN ROUGE: Get your Sparkling Diamonds on and head for this free outdoor screening of musical film Moulin Rouge, about a singer at the famous Parisian nightclub. The film is powered by Electric Pedals, so hop on one of the static bikes and get pedalling to do your bit. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 8.45pm

Thursday 15 August

Catch a performance of a marimba band

SEASHAKEN HOUSES: Author and building conservationist Tom Nancollas makes an appearance to talk about his new book, Seashaken Houses. It's a history of 20 lighthouses built between 1811 and 1905, looking at the people who built and restored them, and the communities they served. Daunt Books (Hampstead), £5, book ahead, 6.30pm

WRITS OF PASSAGE: Anne Curry, Professor of Medieval History gives a talk about The Gascon Rolls. Held in The National Archives, the documents relate to the French region of Gascony, which was considered English for five centuries, and record interactions between the crown and its Gascon subjects. National Archives (Kew), free, book ahead, 6.30pm-8.30pm

MARIMBA BAND: Expect music from Botswana, South Africa, and Zimbabwe as marimba band Otto & The Mutapa Calling play. Folk songs, original tracks and southern African covers all feature in their set. Crossrail Place (Canary Wharf), free, book ahead, 7pm

Friday 16 August

Duckie's variety show comes to Southbank Centre

DANCE FEVER: Head to the Crossrail Place Roof Garden for the third in a series of free dance events. Take part in free Quick Step lessons among the plants, then show off your new skills at the evening social session. Crossrail Place (Canary Wharf), free, just turn up, 12.30pm/5.30pm/7pm

STASI RECORDS: Dagmar Hovestädt — Head of Press at the Stasi Records Archive — gives an intriguing talk about the East German Stasi, one of the most effective and repressive intelligence and secret police agencies in the world. Find out how the Stasi Records Archive manages to keep its top secret files behind closed doors. National Archives (Kew), £4-£5, book ahead, 2pm-3.30pm

DUCKIE: The line-up at Duckie's variety show is designed to stretch your ideas of gender. Lip-syncing, breakdancing, vogueing, and a set from Readers Wifes (DJs-in-residence at Royal Vauxhall Tavern) are all on the bill at the open-air show. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 5.30pm

Saturday 17 August

The Great Fete returns to Alexandra Palace

HER MAJESTY'S CAVALRY: Learn about Her Majesty's Cavalry at a day of family-friendly activities. Find out about the different roles on the Household Cavalry and have a look at their kit, ceremonial uniforms and weapons. There's also a chance to meet some of the horses and watch a farrier demonstration. National Army Museum (Chelsea), free, just turn up, 11am-5pm

CLASSIC CARS: Dozens of vintage cars and retro vehicles park up in Waterloo for the monthly Waterloo Classics. Wander among them, snap some photos, and chat to the vehicle owners, most of whom love showing them off. Lower Marsh (Waterloo), free, just turn up, 12pm-4pm

GREAT FETE: Alexandra Palace hosts its annual Great Fete, a summer fair event with cinema screenings, a silent disco, ice skating, a funfair, live music and a games area. Streatlife street food festival also features, selling a variety of dishes and drinks. Alexandra Palace, free entry (charge for some activities), just turn up, from 12pm

Sunday 18 August

Disco Loco at Southbank Centre

STORYTELLING: Loneliness is the theme of today's Empathy Sunday storytelling event, aimed at 3-8 year olds and their families. Listen to a storytelling session, then take part in a crafting activity which demonstrates how to show empathy in a practical way. Jewish Museum (Camden), free, book ahead, 11am-11.45am

DISCO LOCO: Head to Southbank Centre for a family-friendly party. Disco Loco features live music, dance, cabaret and DJs, and is open to revellers of all ages. Southbank Centre, free, just turn up, 12pm

RISE LIKE LIONS: Keats House hosts a family day themed on the poem that Shelley wrote after the Peterloo Massacre, which happened 200 years ago. Have a go at creating your own protest poster based on the historical event, and learn more about Shelley's work. Keats House (Hampstead), free, book ahead, 2pm-4pm

Last Updated 09 August 2019